Distinction between a sea waybill and a marine B/L
Both the waybill and bill of lading are legal evidence of international trade as well as a receipt for goods shipped. The main difference between a waybill and bill of lading is that while the bill of lading conveys title, the waybill merely serves as evidence that the consignee has contracted with the shipper to carry the goods to an identified destination.1
On one hand, shipping companies issue sea waybills to shippers as a sort of proof or evidence that there is a contract of carriage between the shipper in question and the shipping company. In order words, the sea waybill is a document that serves as proof that the carrier actually received the goods from the shipper and agreed to carry it to a stated destination. In a sense, the sea waybill is similar the bill of lading, which is the main shipping document.1
On the other hand, a marine bill of lading serves as documentation for the contents of a commercial shipment traveling across international waters. This document, or often set of documents, is included with goods being delivered by sea and essentially certifies that the product is on the boat while also noting value, shipping and receiving dates, and condition of the shipment. Suppliers, transporters, insurers, and receivers of goods can use a bill of lading for triggering terms and agreements related to the goods shipped.1 Generally, it is a receipt for the goods shipped, a document of title to the goods and evidence of the terms od the contract of affreightment. 2
There are several differences between a sea waybill and a bill of lading (B/L):
1. The bill of lading is the document of title to the goods, blank bills of lading and order bills of lading can be endorsed and transferred, however, the sea waybill is not negotiable.
2. The bill of lading does not have to indicate the exact name of the consignee; The sea waybill must specify the consignee.
3. The legitimate holder of the bill of lading can take delivery of the goods at the port of destination from the shipping company; In general, the sea waybill, except the consignee, other people cannot take delivery of the goods (unless the consignee's instructions). In addition, the former must surrender a bill of lading when taking delivery of goods, while the latter does not have to present a sea waybill when taking delivery of goods, only with the notice of taking delivery and proof of their identity can be taken delivery of goods.
4. Original bills of lading refer to those that ate signed and dated by either a shipping company or by a duly authorized agent. The bill of lading must show how many signed originals were issued. When one of the originals is surrendered to the carrier, the others become invalid.3 A copy bill of lading cannot replace the original. On the contrary, a copy sea waybill can take delivery, but the consignee must prove his identity.
5. The bill of lading can be divided into short form B\L and long form B\L, in which the terms of the contract of transport are printed on the back, while the sea waybill is only in short form without the terms of the contract of transport printed on the back.
6. A straight B/L is similar to a sea waybill in that the consignee's name is indicated in the box of the consignee. The goods can only be picked up by that particular consignee and cannot be transferred to a third party by endorsement. However, there are essential differences between a straight B\L and a sea waybill. The latter is not real document of title, the consignee shall take delivery of the goods by virtue of the notice and identification.